From the very moment I’d found out that I was pregnant with Henry, I knew this pregnancy would be 100% different from my first. I was terrified, selfishly, and it impacted how I went about my days with Davey. I was sick, tired, and moody. For the longest time, I was convinced Henry would be a girl.
His actual birthday was to be December 20th, but thanks in part to my previous C-section and my desire to not have his birthday so close to Christmas, Henry Bruce Doser was born on Friday the 13th in 2013.
Yesterday, we celebrated the 2nd birthday of my second and final biological child. And much like with his big brother, I put him to sleep last night with the story of his birth, which went a little something like this.
Once upon a time, the king and queen decided to add another prince to their family. Their oldest was just a little over two years in age, when the second prince made his entrance. He was scheduled to arrive at 1:30 on Friday the 13th, but by 8 am that morning he started making his imminent arrival known. The queen dealt with cramps and lower back pain, those that nearly mirrored her kidney stones from 14 years prior (at this Henry looked at me and laughed). She gripped tightly to the king’s arms as he walked her into the hospital.
The queen was placed in a room with machines hooked up to her and wrapped around her belly. The king sat alongside of her, occasionally stroking her arm, but mostly watching a Chuck Norris movie on television. The incessant beeping of the machines, coupled with the contractions and the king’s inability to empathize, forced the queen to make a decision…The king was to be banished and the Queen Mother was to arrive.
As the hours went by, the Queen and her mother discussed upcoming Christmas plans, what it was like for the Queen Mother to give birth so many years ago, and what sort of crazy family member was doing the unthinkable. Finally the time arrived when the queen was to go into surgery and so the king joined her.
A half hour later and Prince Doser II was born. He wailed and he squirmed, making his entrance known. He was just an ounce heavier than his older brother and the same height. What a fine looking young prince he would be. And in royal fashion it was decreed he would be named Prince Henry Bruce Doser.
A short time later, Prince Davey, the older prince, entered the glass tower (as he called it) to meet his younger brother. Prince Davey held tightly to the newborn prince, cradling him lovingly in his arms, even leaning over to kiss him. The queen sat in her bed, staring at her beautiful boys and thanked the Lord for the blessings He bestowed upon her. And from that moment forward they lived happily ever after.
Every parent has a tradition, be it big or small when it comes to celebrating their children’s birthdays. This is mine.
Henry laid in his bed, listening intently to my words, his thumb in his mouth. Occasionally he smiled, but mostly he listened and stroked my hair. At the end of my story, he kissed my cheek and said, “hap birthday me, mommy.”
My days become inundated with the grind of raising two boys, the stress, the guilt, and the pain, but I wouldn’t trade one second of any of it. And people tell me I’ll miss these days. I laugh in their faces, but I know the days are coming when hearing their birth stories will no longer be wanted, that the hugs will diminish, and the cuddles will become obsolete. It saddens me and I realize these are some of the best days of my life and I WILL miss this.
As I kissed him goodnight, he whispered, “love you, mommy” and I melted. He was, and still is, my greatest Christmas gift.